#SuperstitionSat Spooky Season Highlights: Charms, Spells & Amulets Against Evil

Well, hello there! So glad that you have joined us again today for another round of Highlights. Yesterday (01/10/22), we kicked off Spooky Season at Superstition Saturday with Charms, Spells & Amulets Against Evil to keep us protected from harm throughout the spoopy month of October! Then, without any further ado, here are just a few ideas to be safe from dark forces awakening for Halloween (or perhaps awake all year round), as shared by you.

Our first Highlight was from Nifty Buckles, who told us of a tale about brooms being hung above doorways for protection, especially when it comes to keeping evil away from our homes. This folk belief could have indeed been found in European regions, for instance, in Lancashire, as a book of Lancashire Folklore (available to read for free here) said that “[P]ersons are advised to lay a broom across the doorway when any suspected person is coming in. If their suspicions are well-grounded, the witch will make some excuse and pass along the road.” Another credence about doorway broomsticks in Ireland said that you could also keep fairies from entering a house if you placed a broom behind the door instead; while yet another belief, this time from further afield in the Central Balkans, confirmed that a broom behind a door could really keep a witch from entering the house—but only if it was upside down. But according to the Museum of English Rural Life (MERL), a broom hung above a doorway might not have been used to keep witches from coming inside a house after all, as according to this free to read article, a broom above a door was a sign that a witch lived in the house. So, who can say. Perhaps this superstition was intended for witches all along, to keep them from having competition!

Tweet says:

"European broomlore tells us to hang a broom over a doorway or T-shape on door to protect one's home from evil. Brooms can also be placed in a corner of one's home. Brooms will keep evil things out and the good things in."

Includes photo of an old-fashioned broomstick hung above a corridor passage.
Tweet by Nifty Buckles.

We’ll take flight on our broom and travel to Turkey now, with a superstition shared by Autotelic Tales, who told us about the dangers of the envious evil eye and how these can be averted if you possess an amulet called Nazar Boncuğu, which in Turkish means “Evil Eye Bead”. Having the Evil Eye put on you, which can also be referred to as “being overlooked” is a terrible experience where someone, anyone, even if they give you a compliment, can cause things to start going terribly wrong in your life just out of pure spite. As Autotelic Tales elaborated, this could be due to jealousy of a simple thing like the way you were born (“your beautiful hair”), or perhaps what you happened to own (“your healthy cow”)! To keep yourself safe, hang this safeguarding blue glass bead depicting a blue eye somewhere inside your house, preferably near the entrance, where it is most powerful. The Nazar Boncuğu is such a popular anti-evil-eye amulet that it has spread from Turkey to Greece, and even other Mediterranean countries such as Spain and Portugal. Give it a shot!

Tweet says:

"If someone covets what you have, be it your accoomplishments, your beautiful hair, or your healthy cow, you might be struck by the evil eye. The evil eye can come from well-meaning sources, too, like the admiring gaze of a loved one."

Includes photo of a glass bead with an eye painted on it.
Tweet by Autotelic Tales.

We travelled even farther for our third and final Highlight with curious ordinary, who took us all the way to Japan to see these alluring charms sold in local temples, such as the Omamori, the Ema, and the Omikuji. This was such a huge thread with incredible details, for which we were so grateful. Thank you so much for making some time to write this for #SuperstitionSat! Curious ordinary explained it all much better than we possibly could, so here is a snippet from their full text (which you can read yourself if you click in the description of the image below). Enjoy!

“In Japan, OMAMORI are a type of talisman or lucky charm that can be obtained from both Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples, and more recently even from vending machines. Omamori were originally believed to protect people from evil spirits and now they are said to be both […] You must never open the Omamori or you will lose all your good fortune […] Today, Omamori are available to bring good luck in exams, for good health, for safe driving, healthy pregnancies and business success.”

And finally, for a glimpse into the charms mentioned by curious ordinary, as sold in a Japanese temple (and intended for all things from “soundness of mind and body” to “victory and perseverance”), why not take a look at these fantastic items made for the Meiji Jingu in Tokyo, here?

Tweet says:

"Japanese Charms and Fortunes: there are three different types of 'charms' that are still widely found, and used, throughout Japan today. They are Omamori, Ema, and Omikuji. I'll talk about them each separately in this thread."

Includes photos of fabric charms, wooden charms, paper charms and bunny charms.
Tweet by curious ordinary.

That was all for today! I hope that you are feeling a lot more confident now, as we head deeper towards the dark energies of October protected by these Highlights. Do join us for more frightening lore next week (08/10/22), trusting that nothing will hurt you as long as we’re together, even though we’ll be looking at superstitions about:


Photo by Superstition Sam, featuring a mysterious spell found on a beach.

You already know that whether you’re old, new or just passing through, your presence is very much appreciated and I am glad to see you stop by every week, or even once in a while. Meanwhile, if you would like to hear more from us, why not take a look at our latest Folklore Friends Blog post about the Gwithti An Pystri: the new Museum of Magic and Folklore, in Falmouth, Cornwall? Packed with plenty of witchy bits to get you ready for Halloween, and perhaps even an idea for a fun trip!

Thank you for reading! Your lucky cat pal,
– Superstition Sam 🐾